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Elegant Winter Boston State Room Wedding

We’re officially saying farewell to the winter season today, but not before we indulge in a slice of this New England affair from Kelly Dillon at Boston’s elegant State Room. It’s modern with a hint of preppy chic, but still has classic written all over it, from the Bride’s Amsale dress from White Dress By The Shore to her striped ‘maids to the touches of hot pink and ivory in the bouquets by Greenlion Design. See it all here and make sure you press play on that gorgeous film from Long Haul Films.

Colors
Seasons
Winter
Styles
Elegant

From the beautiful Bride…Nick and I grew up just 30 minutes away from each other but did not meet until we were freshmen at Boston College. We did, to quote one of many great toasts from the night of our wedding, “the coolest thing any college freshman could do – joined the marching band.” And we are glad we did, because our friendship grew to a romance and Nick proposed at a favorite spot on campus seven years later.

We knew we wanted a classic New England wedding and initially thought for us this would be a nautical affair somewhere on the water. However the first venue we visited after our engagement was the State Room atop 60 State Street, and the moment we stepped into the Great Room the view took our breath away. It was clear that our classic New England wedding would instead be a city affair. We chose a date in late December which not only helped to keep our wedding within budget, but also allowed friends and family who traveled from as far as Paris to celebrate with us to coordinate their trip with being home for the holidays.

We never chose a theme or colors for our wedding but instead chose things we loved and that felt like “us” using blogs like Style Me Pretty for ideas and inspiration. First for me was a simple Amsale ballgown with pockets from The White Dress by the Shore. Next were the black and ivory striped bridesmaids dresses. Then we started putting together our team of vendors… To create a wintery but not Christmas feel, Kim from Greenlion Weddings created garlands of cedar and seeded eucalyptus to drape on our escort card and sweetheart tables and filled the reception space with mercury glass votives. Li from Fat Orange Cat Studio calligraphed beautiful escort cards on kraft paper for each of our guests and also created a chalkboard wedding “program” that we displayed at both our ceremony and cocktail hour. Finally, I surprised Nick the day of our wedding with “bean” cufflinks in honor of our Boston wedding.

Perhaps the most special part of the day for us was getting to spend it with the amazing Kelly Dillon and Long Haul Films. Thank you Kelly, Melissa, Megan, and Mia for capturing our day so perfectly!

Photography: Kelly Dillon Photography | Videography: Long Haul Films | Florist: Greenlion Design | Wedding Dress: Amsale | Invitations: Gus & Ruby Letterpress | Ceremony: Church Of Saint Ignatius Of Loyola | Reception: The State Room Boston | Jewelry: Tiffany Co. | Bridesmaids: Kate Spade | Makeup: Dani Wagener | Hair: Jennifer Tawa | Calligraphy: Li Ward | Favors: Modern Pastry | Groom's Attire: Brooks Brothers | Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Bridal Boutique: White Dress By The Shore | Bride Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Veil: Caroline DelVillo

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Boston Firefighter’s Surprise Proposal!

Valentine’s is still half a week away, but around these parts we’re already in the full romantic spirit. And thanks to one Boston firefighter who planned the cutest proposal EVER, we’re spending our morning swept up and teary eyed in the captures straight from First Mate Photo. What started as a gorgeous party put together by Lauren Wells Events and Pollen Floral Design, ended in a “Will you marry me?” when the ultimate party crasher came in through the window. Spoiler alert: she said yes!

From The Bride…A month earlier I was sitting on my best friend’s stoop and she said we ought to have a party and I would help her co-host, little did I know I was helping her to plan the proposal! Hours before our guests are set to arrive, she confirms the time, and Mike tells me he has been detailed over to another fire house, one that I know does not relieve early. So he will be late to the party.

I go on up to Katherine’s always beautiful home, and wow! There are three women who have designed and adorned the house with my favorite colors – pink and gold. Her mantle is arranged with beautiful peonies, there is even a pink instant camera, pink quartz! Heaven! We both agreed to hire a caterer and there she is in the kitchen, making the teeniest and cutest miniature versions of the things – like hummus cups in shot glasses.

She asks me to go downstairs to put a sign on the door that it’s open and to come on up. My brother and his fiancee arrive! My high school friends! And my girlfriend who came from her honeymoon! There are 14 people in her apartment hugging each other hello, drinking and noshing when all of a sudden we learn there has been a kitchen fire upstairs. 

Then a few big bangs on our door and enters a handsome, massive imposing firefighter with blue steely eyes. He is so serious! My god I was intimidated. I see his cover/hat and it’s the same ladder as Mike’s, and I ask, “Do you know Mike?”

“Y’know, Woody?” in his big Boston accent, he says he’s been detailed out. Then, my brother grabs me to come into a the office, off the main room. I hear, “Everything alright boys?” and there is my man, coming through the white curtains in his full bunker gear. Mike takes a small wooden box from his coat and gets down on one knee. His voice is trembling and he says, “You are my best friend, will you make me the happiest man, will you marry me?” I just keep nodding my head, saying yes and I give him a huge hug! And I put out my right hand – the wrong hand! Ha!

The first person I turn to see after Mike and my brother is his mum, his father, brother and sister and my parents and then holy smokes, my college friend from NYC. The most important people in my life.

And here it is, I met him when I was 16 and immediately knew then that there was something special about him. He is my soul mate, my love and my home. He grounds me, makes me the best version of myself – confident, daring and smart, and allows me to be myself, vulnerabilities and all.

I am so lucky to keep the company of such wonderful, generous and loving people who make magic! They brought me to the moon that night on a bed of stars.

Photography: First Mate Photo | Floral Design: Pollen Floral Design | Venue: Back Bay | Event Design & Styling: Lauren Wells Events

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Hyatt Regency Cambridge

If you’re anything like I was as a newly engaged bride-to-be, researching venues is a full-time job! But for you lucky New England couples, the search just may be over. Enter the Hyatt Regency Cambridge. Overlooking the Charles River and featuring breathtaking Boston skyline views, this spot is a must see.

  

If a city wedding is your cup of tea, it just doesn’t get much prettier than the Hyatt Regency Cambridge. Boasting incredible 180-degree panoramic city views from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the 16th floor Charles View Ballroom, there’s nothing not to like. Prefer an outdoor spot to say I do? They’ve got you covered with the Riverside Pavilion which can accommodate up to 150 guests in a gorgeous white tent with French windows, stunning chandeliers and a beautiful garden patio. No matter your style or taste as a couple, the Hyatt Regency Cambridge can make your wedding dreams a reality.

I’ll admit, I’m a little bit jealous of you New England couples right now! And now’s the time to book your big day at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge, because you can enjoy free honeymoon nights at any Hyatt Hotels and Resorts location worldwide! From incredible tropical resorts to exciting city hotels in 45 countries around the globe, you can choose your perfect destination for your first trip as a married couple.  Simply book and hold your wedding at a participating Hyatt hotel by December 31, 2015 and you’ll earn Hyatt Gold Passport® bonus points redeemable for free nights with no blackout dates at Hyatt Hotels & Resorts worldwide.

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Sunday Brunch Wedding in Cambridge

This is one delicious affair I would’ve loved to attend. Morning vows followed by mimosas is as good as it gets, and for this Cambridge couple their West Bridge brunch was the perfect “I Do”. A sweet beginning snapped by Lucy Cuneo, their day was filled with freshly picked blooms by Celebrated Flower and classic J. Crew apparel. Catch the entire relaxed and refined celebration here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Restaurant

From the Bride… As soon as we started talking about what our wedding would look and feel like, we decided we wanted something low-key, unique, casual, and intimate. We selected the first Sunday afternoon in June, which turned out to be a gorgeous early summer day, which was perfect for our wildflower arrangements. The venue we chose was West Bridge Restaurant in Cambridge. It has a fun and funky industrial-like vibe, and we utilized the space to the fullest with a non-traditional chuppah draped over the non-traditional Edison bulb chandelier. The ceremony was brief, officiated by a family friend, with just our siblings sharing readings.

After the ceremony guests had the chance to eat delicious food, have summery drinks, and just hang out and enjoy the day. The meal was served family-style with farm-to-table entrees. Dessert consisted of warm chocolate chip cookies, homemade ice cream, and rhubarb tarts. Part of the planning fun was spending hours on Spotify picking songs that were both meaningful and celebratory. It was the perfect beginning to our happily-ever-after!

Photography: Lucy Cuneo | Floral Design: Celebrated Flower | Attire: J. Crew | Restaurant: West Bridge

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Chic Boston Wedding at MIT Chapel

As a resident New Englander, this effortlessly fabulous wedding captured by M. Davidson-Schapiro is filled with tons of Bostonian gems. Crafting a modern city wedding, these college sweetheards dubbed their day as “Beantown Big Day”, and with florals by Back Bay Florist filling the MIT Chapel, you better bet that their vision made for a pretty fabulous reality. See it all right here!

From Michelle of M. Davidson-Schapiro PhotographyWorking with Mareena and Reggie was an absolute dream. From the first emails we exchanged, their vision and personalities were clear. For their engagement photos, they chose to focus not only on their love story, but also on the love they have for their relatively new home, Boston. This idea translated well to their modern city wedding, dubbed Beantown Big Day in invites and on their wedding website, that started at the MIT chapel and headed across the river to Petit Robert Central downtown to get the party started. What a party! I could go on and on about Mareena and Reggie and how wonderful they are, but who better to tell their story than the bride herself?

From The Bride… Reggie and I met my freshman year at Florida A&M University. He was a junior, newly minted frat guy, and I was a newcomer on the FAMU yard. We were friends for 7 months before we started dating; the friendship stage was largely due to me playing hard to get, according to Reggie.

We became a solid unit over the four years we dated, mainly because in the very beginning of our relationship we agreed to allow our relationship to grow at its own pace, without any outside pressure. Being older than me, Reggie decided to pursue his master’s degree in Tallahassee, which allowed us to stay together and keep building our relationship. After four years together, it was time for me to graduate and go off to graduate school in Boston, and it was then that Reggie asked me to marry him. Since day one, Reggie has always made our relationship a priority, and never shied away from stepping up to the plate to be the man that I want, so saying ‘yes’ was an absolute no brainer. I knew I found ‘my one’.

As fiancés, we moved to Boston so I could start my doctoral program in nuclear engineering at MIT. Needless to say, we both had a lot on our plate, me getting oriented in my new school setting and Reggie working tirelessly to get his marketing start-up, Ghost Note Agency, off the ground. We decided to wait to get married until I passed my doctoral qualifying exam. Secretly, as the bride, I wasn’t looking forward to the wedding planning process, but once I passed my exam, Reggie and I agreed we would plan the wedding as a team. Really, I would be the captain and Reggie would be the coach, providing me the much-needed pep talks and context for those more stressful moments.

Going into the planning, we firmly decided that we would have the wedding we wanted. Neither of us are high maintenance, so we wanted a wedding that felt effortlessly fabulous, and focused on sharing this special occasion with those who are dearest to us. We knew we wanted to party, and highlight the big city personality of Boston, and we focused our planning on those elements at each step. Luckily our ‘effortlessly fabulous’ wedding aesthetic lent to our desire to keep a responsible budget. Since we are both in our mid-twenties, and currently building our lives, we wanted to be as clever as possible in achieving the looks that we wanted without breaking the bank.

Our wedding took place at the MIT Chapel, a cylindrical chapel with floor-to-ceiling brick, marble flooring, and an altar that is to die for. The simplistic elegance of the chapel blew us away, and was the perfect backdrop for our lifelong vows to one other. Following the wedding ceremony, guest made their way in true urban fashion, via cabs and Uber, to the cocktail hour and reception in downtown Boston at Petit Robert Central. During the planning stage, we knew the vibe of reception was an important part. We wanted it to feel like an epic club night with friends, so we knew the drinks had to be flowing and the music needed to be just right. This vision really motivated us in choosing Petit Robert Central as our reception spot. They had multiple rooms to choose from with pre-existing décor that made our planning process much easier. We chose the Provencal Room within Petit Robert Central, which offered us the ‘lounge vibe’, complete with a wall-length black leather couch, wood flooring, and a magnificent dark wood built-in bar from which the drinks were flowing!

When we got to the door of the reception, the love in the room was immediate. Everyone was so happy to see us happy and it truly was a special moment in our lives. Our DJ immediately got the party started and we danced like it was we were undergrads again  and like our grandparents weren’t in the room. We laughed, we joked, and on that day everything was right with the world. We had the wedding we wanted to have. Everything was perfect, and we are happy we did it our way.

Photography: M. Davidson-Schapiro Photography | Floral Design: Back Bay Florist | Wedding Dress: I Do I Do Wedding Gowns | Ceremony Venue: MIT Chapel | Reception Venue: Petit Robert Central | DJ: Adam "Mister Anybody" Carpenter | Groom's Attire: Miltons: The Store For Men | Host Hotel: Le Meridien Cambridge

How to Re-Wear Your Bridesmaid Dress

We’ve all been there. The wedding day has past, the bridesmaid duties are done and you’re left with a dress that’ll never again see the light of day. But thanks to our brand new Blogger Bride Jean of Extra Petite, re-styling that bridesmaid frock has never been easier. Along with Long Haul Films, she put together a must-watch, share and bookmark video that’ll give you WAY more wear for your buck.

From Jean of Extra PetiteHi lovlies! I’m Jean, the blogger behind ExtraPetite.com, and a bride-to-be just starting out on the journey of wedding planning! On my blog I share styling tips for fellow shorter ladies, but I also post lots of shopping and outfit ideas for women of all shapes and sizes. I really love getting the most out of each item, which can be challenging with special occasion pieces like bridesmaid dresses. We all know that more often than not, these hang gathering dust after the wedding day. Well, I took one of my bridesmaids shopping at BHLDN, and we wanted to share a few ways to think outside the box with your formal dresses.

We tried on this knee-length dress by Jenny Yoo in a universally flattering flare shape. If you have a full-length bridesmaid dress that you love but not many fancy events on your calendar, consider hemming it shorter after the wedding to make it more versatile!

First up, we added a fun printed scarf in lieu of a typical solid wrap. A thin but eye-catching belt accentuates the waistline, and peep toe pumps are perfect for cooler weather. You can wear this look to other weddings as a guest, or it could be a cute autumn bridesmaid ensemble.

Next up, don’t be afraid to experiment with mixing + matching, whether it’s with different textures, prints, or casual vs. dressy pieces. Here we took a button-up chambray shirt and casually knotted it at the waist. Leopard pumps add a little pattern, and for an edgier night-on-the-town look, try layering a moto jacket on top of this pairing.

A lace topper is an easy and fabulous way to change up the look of a dress. Hairstyle and accessories can also make a big difference – we swept up her hair to show off the lace, and added chandelier earrings for a little glamour and color. This would be a beautiful look for a cocktail party during any season. Cropped tops were everywhere this year, and they’re not just for belly-baring tweens. I love layering shorter tops / sweaters over dresses because they show off the narrowest part of your waist, which keeps the look super flattering. This would be an adorable outfit for a photo shoot or playful engagement session.

Until next time! xoxo, Jean

Videography: Long Haul Films | Bridesmaid Dress: Jenny Yoo | Chambray Shirt: Target | Lace Topper: Tadashi Shoji | Location: BHLDN | Striped Sweater: Forever 21 | White Lace Dress: Tadashi Shoji

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here